Back pain associated with a herniated or bulging disc is an all-too-common injury that disrupts daily activities such as work or recreation, at times making it difficult to even sit or sleep. Many of us have experienced this type of injury at one time or another, or know someone who has. It is often as a result of strenuous or repetitive work; recreational activities can also contribute. Whatever the reason, it’s certainly not enjoyable for those living with this problem. Unsurprisingly, it can also become worse when it that persists over a longer periods of time, or when the activities that created the issue in the first place are repeated. As such, many will reach for pain killers to get through their day, though unfortunately that doesn’t correct the underlying problem.

Bulging or herniated discs can be assessed by physical exam, and confirmed by scans such as an MRI or CT.  This injury causes a myriad of uncomfortable or painful symptoms, not the least of which can be characterized as sciatic pain – a localized discomfort stemming from the lower back or deep within the region of the buttocks, radiating down through the buttocks, thighs or calves. Numbness in legs and feet can also be a hallmark. The most common recommendation to repair this involves surgery.

But is there another option? Of course there is! In fact this is one of my favorite treatments of all, mainly because of how it remedies this pain in a relatively short period of time. The treatment I’m referring to is Ozone Therapy. Ozone therapy, combined with other regenerative injection therapies (such as prolotherapy), can help to shift these misaligned discs back into place, thereby removing the impingement they are causing. This relatively simple, non-surgical intervention can have marked benefit for anyone suffering from the associated pain when employed over several weeks. The ozone is injected along the sides of the spine (what’s known as a paraspinal injection), which conveys all the benefits described (click here to learn more about it: (link))

I get a lot of questions regarding ozone therapy, many more than I can list here. Suffice to say, using ozone in this manner isn’t new – it has been used this way for decades. In my practice, I would approximate about 95% of people who receive this treatment for lumbar disc issues experience relief. It is a safe and effective, and relatively non-invasive to administer. While not a painful therapy, it is difficult to describe what an ozone injection feels like. From the descriptions my patients have offered, the feelings from the injection vary, though most assert that they’ve never felt anything quite like it. However, they’re certainly happy about the positive results.

If ozone therapy sounds like it would be right for you, or someone you know, come see me at the clinic. It might make all the difference.

Herniated Disk. Mayo Clinic Website. Updated Nov 23, 2016. Accessed August 17, 2017.

Lu W, Li Y-H, He X-F. Treatment of large lumbar disc herniation with percutaneous ozone injection via the posterior-lateral route and inner margin of the facet joint. World Journal of Radiology. 2010;2(3):109-112.

Magalhaes FN et al. Ozone Therapy as a Treatment for Low Back Pain Secondary to Herniated Disc: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician. 2012 Mar-Apr;15(2):E115-29.